Katie hates our truck. So it’s been a tough week for her because our SUV, the one with her comfy crate in the back, has been at the shop getting fixed. That means that any far away adventures she and I might want to experience requires using the truck! The big blue scary truck! Her general reaction when presented with the open truck door is to run the other way, pull frantically on her leash and if possible paw at the front door trying to get back inside the safety of her home. We don’t understand why. But then there are so many of her sheltie-isms that we don’t understand.
So this week’s training challenge was to get her less afraid of the truck. And of course to continue to work on the lunging at cars thing. Because last week’s work sure didn’t translate to her behavior here at home. At all.
All week, whenever she and I went anywhere we used the truck. To the park? Great! Get in the truck! See? Not so scary! Go for a ride? Sure! Get in the truck! See? That was fun! Go get nails trimmed at the groomer? Get in the truck. Uh oh. Big mistake on mama’s part. She hates the groomer and shook the entire ride. How does she know she’s not going to the park or the pet store? I have no idea. Must be sheltie-vision or something.
All in all though she’s getting over most of her fear of the truck. A couple evenings ago when I asked her if she wanted to go to the park she ran out the front door and stood expectantly beside the truck. GOOD GIRL! And yesterday as we were going out to do her job we walked by the truck and she stopped, looked at the truck door, then at me like -HEY MOM! Can we go go to the PARK?
So later in the day she and I headed out on another adventure in the big blue truck. We had to head toward town and get some gas first, which is in the opposite direction from our usual route to the park. Katie looked at me and was obviously trying to telepathically inform me that I was going the wrong way. And that it worried her, because the groomer is on this route, don’t you know.
She did really well at the gas station. I was worried because it was hot and even though the windows were open I didn’t want her in there too long without the air. So I fumbled through the transaction, taking longer than normal because I had to keep checking on her.
As soon as I turned on the car she enjoyed the air conditioning!
Then since we were halfway to town I took her the rest of the way in, figuring we could walk on some neighborhood sidewalks where we’ve never been before and work on that lunging at cars problem.
I parked a block off main street and headed toward the residential district. I totally forgot that this street was a cut through for traffic. It was nonstop cars. And several motorcycles. And quite a few trucks…some pulling giant boats. NOISY! Every time there would be a string of cars I asked Katie to sit. I kept telling her to stay, stay…and when she sat through the whole line she’d get her cheese. I think I was more freaked out than she was. There was WAY TOO MUCH TRAFFIC for me! And it was way too close. She did really well but obviously I need more training.
We only went about two blocks, mostly because I forgot to bring a poopy bag with me, and these houses all had beautiful green manicured lawns. I just KNEW if we went very far I’d have an embarrassing situation on my hands. So to speak. We walked back to the car, got a drink and headed out to our nice peaceful park. She did some heeling work and long sits and downs like an expert. I’ve got her (and me too I guess!) signed up for a Rally trial Sept 12.
I need more practice.
August 15, 2010 at 5:57 am
Totally awesome challenges!!! Glad you got Katie so used to the truck – I get way to excited any time I go somewhere in dad’s car (since we usually go in mom’s) so I could work on that too. And stopping to walk in a strange neighborhood with lots of traffic – very brave! You have inspired us for this coming week’s challenge, that’s for sure! Good work Katie and especially your mom!!!
August 15, 2010 at 6:24 am
Fun challenge there!
Well, Katie and Eva are similar in that they don’t like traffic!
Hope Katie starts to like the truck 🙂
We love reading about training challenges, although it’s only be the 2nd week!
August 15, 2010 at 6:30 am
Hey Katie, don’t you know that dogs are supposed to “love trucks”? I think you will too one day. You get such a good view from the shot gun seat!
Great job on your training challenge!
August 15, 2010 at 7:09 am
Sounds like youve been working really hard. Great job! Diana
August 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Hey Dawn and Katie what a busy week you had! Sounds like there was more than one challenge in that training. Personally we HATE traffic, well I do. The girls could really care less-no herding genes in this house.LOL So I give double thumbs up for working around such an unpleasant distraction!
August 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm
The Hub and Shasta are taking obedience classes. Well, I should say they took a couple of the intermediate, and Shasta did very well. Then they took the test for the Delta Pet Partners (so she can be a therapy dog and visit hospitals, etc.), and they passed. Although the tester said Shasta got graded down on a couple of the sections because of her trainer, so she thought it would be a good idea for them to take the beginner’s classes. As she said, “Shasta’s way past that, you it might help YOU out”. A wee bit of humiliation for the trainer (the hub). But they passed the beginners, and will be taking the full series of 3 of the intermediate, which also involves little jumps and a tunnel, starting Thursday. Bailey and I stay home and relax.
August 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm
I’d love to do therapy work with a dog…but odds are Katie is not the dog!!! LOL
August 16, 2010 at 12:18 am
Wow! You and Katie made some really huge progress in regards to the truck this week. That’s awesome. You know what’s really weird? Dare just loves to go places, but she hates the car. Well, I should say car, any vehicle that will be our transportation. I haven’t been able to figure out if it’s because occasionally she gets carsick, so it just has a negative association for her, or what. The other weird thing. She doesn’t get carsick if she’s not in her crate. Sorry, I don’t know where I was headed with this. LOL It just popped into my head that Dare doesn’t like getting in vehicles when I read your post. Anyway, sorry about that. Congratulations on Katie’s progress with the truck!
August 16, 2010 at 6:22 am
Awww…poor Dare! Bonnie (my sheltie prior to Katie) got carsick for the first couple years of her life, then grew out of if. I hope Dare does too!
August 16, 2010 at 9:18 am
Katie great job on your progress of liking the ‘TRUCK’ and sitting/watching all of the vehicles going by…now show your mom that you can do the same at home.
Just wondering why you don’t think Katie couldn’t be a therapy dog?
August 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Katie is fearful of people reaching out to her, patting her on the head etc. And she doesn’t like to sit on laps and get cuddled. So even though she is beautiful and everyone WANTS to pet her I don’t think she’d be good at that work.
August 16, 2010 at 1:16 pm
What a lovely girl, your Katie. That sweet face seems to be matched by an equally sweet, companionable personality. Glad to hear she and the blue truck are starting to become friends. May her life be full of more on-the-road adventures. 🙂